Clay Archer, Contributor
KINNIKINNICK — After last week’s loss to Southeastern, Westfall was looking for a fast start to help itself bounce back into the winning column Friday night.
As soon as they lined up against Zane Trace in Kinnikinnick, they got right to business.
The Mustangs (3-2, 1-1 SVC) used that fast start to earn a dominant 38-6 win over the Pioneers in conference play.
“Regardless of who the opponent is, we’re just looking to go 1-0,” Westfall coach Brad Smith said. “We didn’t play the way we should’ve played tonight. But things went our way from time to time, and then they didn’t from time to time.”
On the first play of Westfall’s first drive, Trent Davis took a handoff 50 yards into Zane Trace territory. Two plays later, at the 9:51 mark in the first quarter, quarterback Marcus Whaley capped the drive with a touchdown pass to Lucas List, giving the Mustangs a 7-0 lead.
From that point on, while Westfall didn’t score, its defense negated any chance of Zane Trace (1-4, 1-1 SVC) sniffing pay dirt. That seemed to be a theme throughout the evening as the Mustangs forced four turnovers in the first half alone.
“The guys on the line, I couldn’t have been happier about how they performed,” Smith said. “We played very well against the run. I’m excited to get back and look at the stats to see what we held them to.”
Westfall held its 7-0 lead until 8:40 left in the second quarter when Whaley plunged into the end zone from just outside the goal line, extending the advantage to 14-0.
On Zane Trace’s next possession, the Pioneers fumbled the ball and Westfall pounced. On the very next play, Whaley hit the jackpot again, this time with a 40-plus-yard touchdown to Jayden Lemaster with 8:18 left to go in the half. Westfall scored again before halftime, when Whaley hit Davis for a third pass touchdown and his fourth overall, seizing a 26-0 lead at the break.
In the second half, Zane Trace threw a punch of its own, scoring on its opening drive when Gabe Shanton broke off for a 32-yard touchdown run. But Westfall didn’t wait long to respond.
On the ensuing kickoff, Lemaster returned it 50 yards to the end zone to make it 32-6. The Mustangs scored again with 1:06 remaining to round out the night’s final.
The Mustangs will host Adena, a 28-21 winner over Unioto in Week 5, next Friday. Zane Trace will attempt to bounce back with a trip to Unioto the same night.
“We’ll go back and watch film. Things need to be much prettier next week,” Smith said.